One of the toughest things about being on the low FODMAP diet is eating out. Unfortunately the lack of information out there means that restaurants have normally never heard of the diet and it can take a long time to scroll through the menu and work out what you can and can’t eat. Whilst it is tricky there are some things you can do to make the process a little easier!
EATING OUT ON LOW FODMAP
Here are my 6 tips for eating out on low FODMAP:
- Call the restaurant before: If you know in advance that you are going out for dinner it is often best to call the restaurant before. Often meat and fish will be marinated in things like onion and garlic 24 hours before so if you give the restaurant a heads up they can leave food aside for you that is low in FODMAPs.
- Pick a restaurant with an allergy menu: Whilst restaurants aren’t yet catering for people on the low FODMAP diet – many are really good at catering for people who cant eat gluten or dairy. I tend to find that if restaurants cater for these kind of food allergies are more willing to adapt there menu to make it low FODMAP. Also if you know what food doesn’t have gluten in it this already eliminates one of the things you need to work out!
- Know where hidden FODMAP ingredients are: There are going to be some things that are just going to be impossible to eat and instead of asking restaurants to look into their ingredients just realise you can’t eat them and go for other options. Almost all sauces will have flour or onion and garlic in it so go for a plain option and order the dish without a sauce or ask for it on the side. Same goes for salad dressing – order the salad but ask for no dressing and get some olive oil and lemon on the side to add yourself.
- Go for cuisines that are naturally lower in FODMAPs: In one of my other posts I talk about what cuisines contain more FODMAPs than others. If you are eating out it is always easier to go for the options that you know are going to be easier on the FODMAP diet – so things like Sushi/Thai as opposed to Mexican or India where its going to be impossible
- Make seasoning your friend: Given how plain you sometimes have to go with your food to avoid FODMAPs you will need to get used to adding seasoning to your food to add taste Salt/Pepper/Chilli/Lemon/Lime/Olive oil/Soy sauce – ask for whatever works on the side and season the food yourself.
- Be the organiser & be vocal: I know it sounds basic but if you are the one to arrange the event; dinner with friends/ lunch with family/work meeting with a client etc you have so much more control if you are the one in charge and can facilitate a restaurant that will work for you. When people know you are on this diet and that it’s effecting your health they will be more than willing to adapt the situation to work for you.
Do you have any tips to pass on?
Title Photo by Emmylou Kelly Photography